Will Ovechkin Reach the “Rocket” Richard Trophy?

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Before his suspension, injury, and second suspension, Alex Ovechkin was easily on the way to getting the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy for the third time in his career. Since the Olympic break, the Russian Machine’s goal production has slowed, allowing the much-loved Sidney Crosby and the fresh-faced Steven Stamkos to catch him. On Sunday evening, Crosby scored two goals to take the lead with 47 goals. He now leads Ovie by 1 and Stamkos by 2.

With only a handful of games left in the regular season, can the Great Eight summon up the same magic he wielded from early in the season? RMNB contributor Fedor Fedin braved scary numbers to project how the remaining games will shake out.

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First, Fedor calculated the average number of goals scored per game (both career and this season) against the opponents remaining on each player’s schedule.   Summing up those goals and rounding down is as close as we can come to an estimated season-end goal total.  Then we snorted a massive load of salt due to the small sample size.   Finally, using both the career and season goal averages, Ovechkin should win the Rocket!

Ovechkin will have to surmount two obstacles to win it.  He’s in the middle of a significant slump, and Stamkos and Crosby have picked up the pace with recent multiple-goal games.  Should we be worried? We don’t think so. Alex responds well to pressure, and it’s safe to say his competitors don’t have the same drive to get 50 goals like he does. Only time will tell. But we’re certainly optimistic.

[Ed. note –  The always-excellent hockey blog The Peerless Prognosticator beat us to the press by a few hours on this one.  His methodology is slightly different,  but we reached the same conclusion. So we extend a digital high five his way. ]

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  • Dave

    Ovie is slumping because his sense of self has been shaken. The massive drubbing he took against Canada for the 2nd time in his life (1st time at 2005 Juniors when Canada demolished Russia and knocked Ovie out of the game). The latest drubbing had to particularily hurt because Canada demolished Russia 7-3 with Ovie nowhere to be seen and ripped apart like he’s never been before. Ovie is not used to this. It has to shake him up big time. Were you expecting him to come back to the NHL and light it up? I was’nt. He’ss reassessing himself as a player. Humiliation has a way of doing that.